Social media addiction. Have you thought about it? If you are starting to realize you may be drawn to social media a little too much, you may also be wondering, “but what do I do?” Do I quit it entirely? Do I go on a social media detox? How can I set boundaries that I will actually follow?
Today I am sharing my plan that will dramatically reduce the time you are staring at your screen.
Why I “Quit” Social Media
Over the last two years, I have been getting pretty extreme with social media. I clearly saw how it was wasting my time, bringing up comparison and envy, and blocking me from doing things I actually wanted to do, but I kept using it. I was definitely more mindful, and I did take many breaks, but I still somehow kept falling into the deadly mindless scroll.
One day I had enough. I realized I am made for so much more than filling my mind with so much random stuff and other people’s lives that I don’t even know or have a relationship with. From all of the books I had read about digital addiction and the power of the mind and how wisdom, creativity, and great ideas are formed, I realized social media is blocking my potential.
The biggest concept to understand: Your mind only has so much space, if you are constantly looking at social media, you are filling your mind up with what everyone else is doing, leaving no room for the wisdom, creative ideas, and world-changing epiphanies that could come if your mind were not so full and distracted.
Think about that. If your mind only has so much space, wouldn’t you want to be mindful of what you are filling it with? You don’t want to fill it with random things that do nothing but just take up space. You need that space! Even if you are not filling it with ‘bad things’ pursue. Knowing what is happening in every friend you have ever met in life + countless other people’s lives you have never met is sucking your mind power. Seeing picture after picture, video after video,email after email, story after story, switching from checking one app to another, your brain has to take that information, process it, and integrate it. The amount of information we are filling our mind with from the constant checking and scrolling is secretly wrecking your mind which you also will feel in your body.
I know that the change I want to create in the world is going to take insane creativity and wisdom so I needed to take everything away that wasn’t adding any value to my mind but instead just filling it.
I started asking questions like: Do I really need to see what other people are doing? What effect is that having on me? I started seeing how it was either bad, neutral, maybe entertaining, but it was definitely not doing anything but filling my head up with input I don’t really need.
What would I do if I never looked at what other people were doing? Sure, I find some people’s life extremely interesting and enjoyed seeing what they were up to, but what was that doing for me?
I realized: I don’t need to see what that person, celebrity, or influencer is doing – I need to listen for God to tell me what to do. I need to turn all the moments I turn to scroll into times I just listen and pray.
How I Use it Now
I say ‘quit’ because whether I like it or not, right now social media is how people stay connected and discover my business and work. I “quit” by unfollowing everyone. All friends, family, influencers. The only thing I do is follow less than 20 accounts on Instagram that I learn from and stay up to date with their work. So I use social media to share what I am working on or to learn from others. 5-20 minutes a day 5 days a week, that’s it.
I want us to think about social media use the same way we think about intermittent fasting & minimalism.
It’s good to go on social media “fasts” just like it’s good to do a regular cleanse or fast, but if you come back and fall right back into checking it all of the time it’s like coming off your cleanse and just eating junk food. It defeats the purpose of the cleanse. What if you use social media like intermittent fasting? As in you fast from it EVERY DAY and only have a certain window you look at it? After you look, you delete. And, take one day every week you don’t look at it at all.
Minimalism is so popular because people have experienced the incredible effect having less stuff and no clutter has on your mental health. What about minimalism in media and technology? Soon people will realize the fewer people they follow and the fewer apps they have, the happier and the better their mental health will be.
Remember you have so much genius and potential inside of you, but you need seeking, listening, and room in your mind to access it.
How to Stop Social Media Addiction
You don’t need to go as extreme as I did, but if you follow this plan, I guarantee you will spend less time on your phone
Step One: Clean Out and Minimize
- Take inventory of all inputs you are consuming. All social media platforms, email, news, podcasts, shows.
- Are there any apps you can delete entirely? Ones that are just wasting time and adding no value to you? Delete them now.
- Within the apps. you choose to keep, unfollow as many people as you possibly can. Think about who you really want to fill your valuable mind space with & who brings value in some way, not just people you have gotten so used to following. You may not need to know what that influencer or celebrity is doing every day. Have a minimalist mindset when it comes to the people you follow and the apps you have, the fewer the better.
Step Two: Decide Your Limits: WHEN and HOW LONG Each Day
It’s funny because we control our kid’s screen time and give them limits but do you do the same for yourself? If you don’t have boundaries you will be on it all the time, that’s how they created it to work.
- HOW LONG a day do I want to be on each app.? Different apps. can have different amounts of time. Set a time limit.
- WHEN in the day will I use it? WHEN in the day will I not? For example. I don’t use anything on my phone after 8 pm or before 10 am and I can be on Instagram for 15 minutes, youtube for 15 minutes, and email/podcasts for 30 minutes.
Step Three: HOW WILL YOU DO IT? Bring in the reinforcements
It’s great that you have set up boundaries for yourself, but how will you actually follow them? This is where most people have trouble. I have found the only way you will follow your limits is if you make it impossible for you to be on your phone the times you don’t want to be. How do you do that? Two words: App. Blockers.
- Install app. blockers for the times you don’t want to be on your phone.
- Also when you have reached the amount of time for the day, set the app. blocker to not let you on it anymore.
The next post will be about the best app. blockers that actually work and make it impossible for you to get on your phone when you have reached your limit or you are outside of the times you want to use your phone.
Absolutely mind-blowing things begin to happen when you stop filling your mind with what everyone is doing. You don’t realize how much looking at everyone else’s life is controlling how you see yours. I didn’t realize the freedom and peace that comes from not staying up to date with other peoples day to day lives.
From personal experience, the results of quitting social media are downright mind-blowing.
Result #1: Wisdom Comes
When you get rid of the constant inputs, checking, and scrolling and just go throughout your day without it, wisdom starts pouring in. Wisdom in the form of hearing from God and getting creative ideas and clarity! Wow, guys. If nothing else, try quitting the media for a while to see what genius may be hiding inside of you that’s not coming out because it’s covered up by the constant pointless input. I began getting so many creative ideas and inspiration, it was shocking.
Result #2: Mental & Physical Health
My mental health has been the best it has ever been. No anxiety. No comparison. I realized comparison was slowly killing my soul and I didn’t even know.
Because mental health affects your physical health, my physical health has been better as well!
Result #3 Time for stuff that makes a difference
You don’t realize how much time you spend on your phone until you take it away. You don’t realize how many spare little moments you have all throughout the day that you fill with checking your phone. It takes a little while to get over the impulse of checking when you have a spare moment. (the bathroom, waking up, before bed, random times throughout the day). Once I got used to it, I started filling those micro-moments with things that actually make a difference. I have almost finished writing two books, my daughter and I are learning Spanish, I have been spending more time in Worship, in the Word, and in silence, just listening which in turn I feel like I have been given more wisdom and direction. I don’t feel the constant urge to check my phone when I have a spare minute.
Result #4 Money!
I’m spending a lot less of it! Ha! Those ads that show you just what you ‘need’ really do get you. I don’t feel the need to buy something someone else is talking about because I just don’t see it.
Try These Two Life-Changing Experiments
To help you out with step number one, try this experiment.
Here’s what is happening. You have become so used to following the current people you are following, it’s normal to you. You are so used to seeing what they are doing, whether you know them or not that you almost expect to get an update to see what they are doing that day.
TRY THIS & SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
Unfollow everyone. I mean everyone. (I actually unfollowed everyone but you can pause or hide, you just don’t want to see what they are doing).
Do this for at least 5 days to a week (the longer the better).
Something insanely interesting will happen. See who you actually think about. See who you find yourself wondering what they are doing. See who you miss hearing from. I GUARANTEE it will weed out 90% of the people you are following.
That’s what happened to me. I realized that people I had been following for YEARS, once I stopped I didn’t even miss or think about them. I actually forgot about them. I realized I just got used to seeing what they were doing all of the time but once I stopped I realized I definitely DO NOT need to see posts from them. Many of the celebrities, influencers, pastors, or other popular accounts I was following I realized I honestly didn’t even think about or miss. I realized they were just filling my mind with useless information about what they are doing that I really didn’t need. They were keeping me scrolling longer for no good reason.
Then there were just a FEW accounts that I actually thought about and missed hearing from. Ones that brought me inspiration, education, tips, and motivation.
When my experiment was over, I just followed those accounts.
You may realize many accounts you follow you don’t *really* need to be following. You may forget about them entirely when you stop following them for a week. They may just be filling up your mind and taking your time as you invest your life into watching what’s going on in theirs.
This will be life-changing in helping you lessen the time on your phone.
- Unfollow everyone for a period of time
- Notice who you actually remember and care about following.
- Then follow the absolute minimum amount of people you need to follow. People that inspire, educate, and push you towards becoming the person you can be. Unfollow everyone else.
If you want to see a huge difference in your mental and physical health, try this!
Nothing is more healing or rejuvenating than fasting.
Try fasting 12 hours from food AND screens every day.
This will give your body time for cellular rejuvenation and turn over and it will also give your mind time to integrate, process, and heal.
This time is truly one of the best gifts you can give your body and mind and you will experience greater mental and physical health as a result of it!
- Try out the two experiments
- Do the three-step plan
This will dramatically reduce your screen time which will lead to . . .
- You feeling more energy, focus, and motivation
- Reduced anxiety, depression, and overwhelm
- Getting creative ideas and solutions
- Being more productive
- Feeling happier
- Your body being healthier and more fit
- More time to do awesome things with your life